Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Body Kicking Workout: Ballet Barre Pilates

Whenever I go on a business trip, I try to increase my activity to offset the amount of take-out that I have to eat. While the gym will always do the trick-that is if you can find your own motivation and create a workout that will actually work out your body-I try to find work out classes or businesses that are popular with the locals.

On my last trip, I decided to try a Ballet Barre: Xtend class. Before this trip, I'd always heard about Ballet Barre and how it was great for your legs; But as a former dancer, my legs are already strong so I shrugged it off until this trip. 
Boy was I wrong! This class kicked my butt, head to toe, and it felt great! But before I get into the details, let's take a look at what Ballet Barre Pilates is all about.

Ballet barre pilates. The creator of Xtend Barre, Andrea Rogers, intended for the "barre workouts" to sculpt a long, lean dancer-like physique. Each studio varies but the core of barre workouts remains the same throughout: exercises done at a ballet barre (or a back of a chair or any supporting structure) that combine elements of ballet, pilates, and yoga. Rather than using weights, barre exercises rely primarily on your own body weight and each and every move challenges your core stability and balance.

Why ballet barre? Ballet Barre has been endorsed by celebrities such as Madonna and Kelly Ripa due to the amazing results that these workouts provide. Those who participate in these classes regularly often find that their bodies become more slim and chiseled. The music and positive energy in the classes are definitely an added and uplifting benefit. Plus why not enjoy what you're doing while reaping the benefits of a healthy physique and a happy mind?

Typical ballet barre classes: What to expect. Typically, a ballet barre class is a large open space with mirrors and barres on the walls. Traditionally, people do not wear shoes or socks, though "grippy" socks are often used. Props include playground balls, 1-3 lb hand weights, stretch bands, and yoga straps.

Classes are typically 60 minutes long, primarily focusing on the lower body (you'll be hurting tomorrow and the days to follow!!!) however you will definitely feel the burn in your arms and core. Exercises focus on highly targeted, small movements to tone your muscles without adding bulk: traditionally about an inch radius from the starting point.Ballet Barre classes also incorporate some form of cardio though the intensity ranges from teacher to teacher.

Go try a class: Typically the first class is free. 
The great thing about ballet barre is that you do not need any dancing experience to attend these classes. The whole class is instructor led and a good instructor will be sure to call out what muscles should be "firing" and will correct you if you are doing something that may hurt you or that can improve our form.

And remember, if you are leaving that class with your legs and arms shaky, you've had a great work out! I'll be going to my third class this Saturday! Wish me luck.

No comments:

Post a Comment